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Police: Revenge may be motive in toddler shooting

Police: Revenge may be motive in toddler shooting

September 14th, 2011 in News

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. (AP) - A suspect who fired into a house, killed a 3-year-old girl and critically injured a pregnant woman and her toddler might have been angry that another resident of the home intervened in an assault earlier in the day, police said Tuesday.

Piecing together witness accounts, police believe that a man living at the victims' address saw the suspect assaulting another woman on Monday and got involved, allowing the unidentified woman to escape, said San Bernardino police Lt. Gwendolyn Waters. The suspect is the same man who later Monday opened fire on the home where the Good Samaritan lived, she said.

"That appears to be our motive - that somebody from that residence did a good thing and intervened and tried to save another woman from being assaulted," Waters said at a news conference.

Police are searching for the suspect, who they believe ran away, and want to speak to the woman who was assaulted and at least two other witnesses to the assault.

A 3-year-old girl, Nylah Franco-Torrez, was struck in the head during the shooting and pronounced dead at a hospital late Monday.

The pregnant woman and her 3-year-old daughter were in critical but stable condition on Tuesday, authorities said. The woman was shot in the neck and jaw and her daughter was shot in the head, Waters said. Police are not releasing the name of the woman, who is five months pregnant, or her daughter.

The fetus appears unharmed, Waters said.

The shooting at about 7:40 p.m. Monday marked the end of more than two months without a homicide in the sweltering hot desert city about 60 miles east of Los Angeles.